As we’ve written elsewhere, it can take a long time to start ranking for new content. Google’s timelines can be really frustrating! So, what do you do if you want to improve your Google ranking fast?
Research has shown that there’s a strong connection between keywords in reviews and improved local search results. One study named it the number one way to boost local SEO. Not NAP clean-ups. Not GMB posts. Not a 5-star score. Keywords.
So, getting them is a great way to improve your search results. But should you do it? Should you start telling your clients to write “best plumbing repair service Atlanta” in their review?
Well… not exactly. You don’t want to force your customers into writing something they otherwise wouldn’t say. It may, however, be wise to steer them in the right direction.
Do I Need Keywords in My Reviews?
Keywords are like signposts: they point people (and search engines) in the right direction. From Google’s perspective, keywords show that a text (reviews, website content, blog posts, etc.) is relevant to searchers. When a Google user enters a search term, Google wants to display the most relevant results at the top of the page. Keywords help Google sift through and find them.
This goes for the landing pages on your website, as much as for the reviews on your GMB listing. Google likes it when a review includes keywords. It shows that your landscaping company actually provides the landscaping services you advertise. And that someone out there really believes they are the “best landscaping company in San Diego!” Who wouldn’t want to rank for a keyword like that?
Should I Ask My Clients to Use Keywords in Their Reviews?
At LinkNow Media, we do not recommend that business owners ask their clients to include specific keywords in their reviews.
- It’s inauthentic. You want your reviews to be truthful. Google does, too. If you ask your clients to use specific phrases and keywords, their reviews will feel scripted. Forced. Fake.
- It’s unconvincing. Positive reviews are supposed to be convincing. They should show that you are an authority in your industry—a professional that consumers can trust. By asking clients to follow a script, you’re limiting the potential of your reviews. Ultimately, they’ll be far less convincing than if they felt natural.
- It’s risky. Google doesn’t like SEO trickery. They’ve clamped down on previous SEO “hacks,” and they’re bound to do the same for future ones. If you try to game the system by shoehorning keywords into your reviews, you risk being penalized by Google down the road.
The bottom line is that Google values keyword-optimized reviews because the business owner has no control over them! They’re spontaneous, authentic, and truthful. They’re the perfect reference.
How Do I Get Keywords in My Reviews?
You want keywords in your reviews. But you also want your reviews to sound natural. What can you do?
The best course of action: ask your clients to leave detailed reviews. Give them some guidelines. For example, if you’re a plumber, you may want to ask your customers to leave reviews that mention:
- The service you provided
- The time it took for you to respond and complete the job
- Pricing information
- The quality of customer service.
By doing so, keywords will naturally appear in your clients’ writing. Plus, it’ll sound more convincing for readers.
Consider the following two reviews from LinkNow Media’s Google My Business listing:
Pretty bare bones. Not a whole lot of information. Let’s look at the second one:
Notice the keywords: SEO services, company’s web presence, design assistant, as well as our company name. The client was not asked to use these terms. Rather, they came out naturally because the reviewer provided ample detail. Plus, it also makes the review much more convincing for reviewers.
In short: Ask your clients to leave reviews. But give them more to go off. Ask them to provide details of the services you provided, how long it took, so on and so forth, and you’ll see keywords naturally arise in your reviews. That way, you’ll help build a solid online footprint—and trustworthy reputation. Two birds with one stone. We like that.
Need Help Managing Your Online Reputation?
With over 10,000 clients, we at LinkNow Media know a thing or two about reputation management. Over our many years, we’ve built a strong online presence—not just for ourselves, but for thousands of business owners across North America.
If you need help proving your worth to the world and drumming up business, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 1-888-667-7186. Oh, and don’t forget to comment below!